The FBI released a redacted version of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court application on Donald Trump’s former campaign advisor Carter Page. The documents reveal that the FBI believed that Page was targeted by Russia for recruitment, according to The Guardian.
“The FBI believes that Page has been collaborating and conspiring with the Russian government,” according to the unredacted portions of the court application filed in October 2016.
Page has denied being an agent of the Russian government and has not been charged with committing any crimes related to the matter. Carter Page resigned from the Trump team after it was reported that he was of interest to the FBI.
The FISA warrants were subject to partisan debates in Congress.
U.S. Representative for California’s 22nd congressional district Devin Nunes lead the Republican charge that the FISA warrant was illegal. The warrant on Carter Page was the subject behind the Nunes Memo released by the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee earlier this year.
The memo claimed that the FBI “may have relied on politically motivated or questionable sources” to obtain the FISA warrants. This was part of a larger scale effort by Trump allies to discredit the FBI and former FBI Director James Comey.
The warrant seems to contradict Nunes’ claims that the FISA application relied “extensively” on a Yahoo! News report from by Michael Isikoff as a source of information about the Steele dossier. The article in question also referenced Carter Page’s trip to Moscow.
Devin Nunes tried to discredit the FBI. Instead, he proved it’s onto something. https://t.co/ElvUdYq2bM— Michael Sexton (@jmsexton_) July 22, 2018
However, the newly released FISA warrant reveals that the FBI was not using Michael Isikoff’s Yahoo! News article as independent confirmation of Steele’s dossier; rather, it was only used as a source for Carter Page’s denial that he was working for Russia.
Nunes’ memo, which President Donald Trump used to discredit the Mueller investigation, alleges that Christopher Steele had been employed by a firm funded by a Democratic law firm to do opposition research on Trump’s business dealings as proof of potential bias.
New FISA documents discredit Nunes— Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) July 21, 2018
Dem memo stated: "The GOP [Nunes] memo also claims that a Yahoo News article was used to corroborate Steele, but this is not at all why the article was referenced"
FBI used Yahoo article for Section showing Page denied cooperation with Russia: pic.twitter.com/7So4XM3Ez0
Nunes also claimed that the FBI did not disclose in the FISA application.
However, the newly released documents show that the FBI did disclose that Steele’s potential bias in the FISA application.
Democrats responded with their own memo, which argued that former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, who has since pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI about his contacts with Russians, triggered the investigation into Russia rather than the Steele dossier.
Papadopoulos had a conversation with former Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer where he allegedly told Downer that Russia had damaging information on Hillary Clinton.